08 February, 2011

Drawing the Won Game

I played in the Monthly Standard at ICC this week, and had a see-saw ride, ending up with drawing a game I should have won easily.

My opponent was rated 300+ points above me, which I guess is why he elected to exchange Queens early against a weaker player. However, I've been there in the Philidor a few times before, and it is no longer scary !

Here he has the advantage of me, but misses a simple winning tactic, focusing on the complex combination of R + B vs f7...

White to play: Rxe5! wins
...instead of Rxe5, guaranteeing a win !

Following Rxf7+ he exchanged Rooks on d8, but misses the deadly Black Knight fork riposte on d6, as well as the recovering White moves of Bd3 or Rf3 ! Not matching his rating in his tactics.

However, even though I play accurately and solidly to take material and move further ahead, I miss a few tactics myself, and return the blunder deep in the endgame....
Ouch ! Ke5 is bad
I should have played Kg5 losing the Bishop, but defending the pawn for another chance.

Although I had further opportunities, with time running out I managed a draw against his much more effective technique.

Disappointing overall, but good to see higher-rated players making the same mistakes as me.

Improve my tactics, formulate and follow a plan ( in this case creating a second weakness ), practise the endgame, and there is hope !!


coderyder said...

I looked quickly at the game last week and wondered why your opponent let you capture his pawns on the queen side so easily. Maybe he thought he can promote the pawn in the next moves but as it turned out this was a mistake.

Signalman said...

Possibly true. However, I have only myself to blame for not winning.
1) I didn't play my plan actively enough
2) It wasn't a good enough plan ( should have been moving both Queen- and King-side pawns
3) I didn't defend my pawns at the end miscalculating that I had won
4) My miscalculation was based on incorrectly putting my rook in front of my passed pawn - a bad thing to do
5) Rook vs Bishop + Knight is generally a draw, I have since found out. I should have been more careful to keep my pawns :(

...but, I hope I have learned for the next endgame !

Signalman said...

Unfortunately, I can't play in the Monthly standard tonight, and I think I would have had an opponent around my level this time ! Shame, but that's the way it is !

chesstiger said...

You said it all.

In the first diagram Rxe5 is indeed winning. It actually wins two pieces after: 1. Rxe5+ Kf6 2. Rxd8 Rxd8 (or 2. ... Kxd5 3. Rxh8) 3. Rxe4 Rd1+ 4. Nc1 .

The other two diagrams are indeed "ouch" moments. But from this ouch moments one can learn alot; hopefully you did so so you can win this kind of games in the future.

Good luck!

Signalman said...

@Chesstiger: Thanks, I hope I have learned from this ( but whether I remember at the appropriate time is another matter). For me, it is remarkable that neither of us saw Rxe5 at the time. Amazing chess blindness, and typical, I think, that we amateurs focus on the complicated, when the simple is right in front of us.